A friends/family travel experience….

When you are traveling, it is always exciting and fun to see new places. Have a chance to try new foods and meet new people. It feels like you are adding something new to your lifetime experience. But it is also very fulfilling to go visit people or family you know.

friend's backyard

Meeting friends or family for a special occasion or simply to spend some time together it is different than actually living with them for a few days. Spending some quality time together can really help you learn something more about them. Witness some of the special things they do in their every day life. Things you would probably know nothing about if you weren’t together 24 hours a day.

exploring friend's backyard

A few weeks ago we reached my husband in Virginia, where he was attending a workshop.We had planned a couple of days in Washington D.C. together. We wanted to explore the city with the kids. However before going on our little adventure, we decided to stop and visit friends in Virginia and my Aunt and Uncle in Maryland. Needless to say how exciting this part of the trip was for our kids! They knew who we were going to visit and couldn’t wait to spend some time in both places.

exploring friends forest

First stop: Charlottsville, Virginia

In Virginia we stopped for a few days close to Charlottsville. Our friends Shelly and Ibrahim own a lovely house in the woods there. We haven’t seen so many trees in a while now so this was a big change of scenery! The colors were amazing. Fall is definitely a dream!!!

They are artists and musicians so there is a lot of creativity going on in their house. As you walk inside, the walls are full of their art as well as some pieces painted from other family members. They appreciate everyone’s art. It is truly inspiring to be there. Painting is part of their life, you can find it scattered throughout the house and on most of their clothes, which I love to see!

inside friend's house

Ibrahim found an amazing way to entertain the kids. He pulled out some paper shopping bags and told them to use it to create something. Cosimo and Emma spent 2 hours doing little projects with all the paper bags. They started drawing, built a car, made paper airplanes for Luca and constructed a house for Emma’s animals. Sometimes you need to think outside the box, who says that art can only be made in a conventional way?!

friend's art project

Ibrahim and Shelly used to perform and sell their paintings on Venice beach. However a year ago they decided to move closer to his family to enjoy a more quiet life in nature. But when they start playing their African drums, a whole new energy comes in the room. You can’t just sit there, you have to start jamming with them, check out here this short video of one of their drumming moments with Cosimo!

drumming at friend's house

The kids were fascinated by them and in the few days we spent there, they would always find a good excuse to play the drums for a while. As Ibrahim and Shelly explained to them “when people play the drums they are having a conversation”. What beautiful and powerful conversations we had during our stay! Music and art was an inspiring way to start this trip!

drumming at friend's house

Second stop: Rock Hall, Maryland

Next stop on the way to Washington D.C. was to see my Aunt and Uncle.

kids in car

This is a bittersweet visit for us because unfortunately my aunt has Alzheimer’s. It is harder and harder to see this amazing woman today and not miss terribly who she was before Alzheimer’s took her. This is such a terrible disease that takes away the ones we love one memory at the time until one day they don’t know who we are anymore. My Aunt was the glue to our big family just like her mother was before her. Her kindness and love towards everyone is truly missed. Luckily also during this visit I had a glimpse of her for a second when she said “Bye Lovey, I love you”. I’m not sure if she knew who I was but she understood that I loved her and the way she said those words was her way.

family visit

During our time here we have had the opportunity of spending more time with my uncle. He loves being around the kids! So we are always happy to bring him a little of that young energy. I’m sure he is exhausted by the time we leave, but on the other hand it cheers him up for a while.

family opening clams

Rock Hall is a little town on the Chesapeake Bay. It is  pretty busy in the summer but very quiet in the winter. We managed to experience and learn a few interesting facts while there. We discovered that oysters can be eaten only in the months with an “R” inside the name and that they can be pretty big! Plus in the last few years a new trend started of keeping the shells and using them as exterior decor. For example, around the mailboxes or in other parts of the backyard.

family potato shooting

The kids had the chance to experience shooting the potato cannon. You should checkout our YouTube video here that explains how it is done! It was so much fun and we managed to learn a new use for potatoes!

But what I most treasure about this visit, was watching the kids hang around my uncle. They asked him a million questions about everything. It is important for kids to have the opportunity to interact with other people. This gives them a chance to hear different opinions or simply learn something new that maybe we don’t know much about. My uncle has plenty to share with them!

time with family

Lesson we learned

What we have taken away from these different moments with very different people is that, everyone has something valuable to share with you.

Everyone has a lesson to teach you through the their personal life experience. It is up to us to open ourselves to it. To treasure the connection you created, also if just for a short period of time. We have to be open to what people want to share with us, who knows you might find a new passion that you never knew was inside of you.


Final stop was Washington D.C., which needs its on post so stay tuned!!!

If you want to see more about the United States click here!

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